This dissertation by Rafael Gaus discusses the urban qualities and deficits of the town of Bassersdorf and researches how the city centre can be improved spatially, structurally and functionally. In a comparison with reference examples, the case study discusses, in addition to urban solutions, the planning strategies and their possible transferability.

The first part of the work investigated the many layers of the city centre of Bassersdorf. Today, the former Dorfstrasse is mainly a transit space with heavy traffic; as such, the author pursues the question of whether the newly designated Dorfplatz, which in its current state has more the character of a rest area, has the potential to take over the functions of a city centre.

To strengthen the public spaces and create coherence, two examples were selected as references: Monte Carasso and Appenzell’s Trogen, the latter during the 18th century when the village centre developed. In addition to spatial qualities, the analysis also concentrated on the planning instruments and the responsible actors. The village centre of Trogen was able to attain an urban spatial coherence because of a lack of legal regulations. In Monte Carasso, the leading architect of village development, Luigi Snozzi, called the zoning of the 20th century into question and brought back the traditional structures of the Tessiner building culture. Today, under his leadership, an expert commission monitors construction development. In conclusion, the work argues that insofar as the investigated case studies can be interpreted, Bassersdorf will be able to find its way back to its original urban qualities.